‘In the public interest’: Reservoir to protect Calgary from floods gets NRCB approval

The location of the Springbank off-stream reservoir project in relation to Calgary, Alta., from a video created by the government. Government of Alberta/YouTube

The Natural Resources Conservation Board has approved a controversial reservoir that could protect Calgary from future flooding, ruling that it’s in the public interest on Monday.

Alberta Transportation proposed the $432-million off-stream reservoir near the rural community of Springbank, Alta., which is west and upstream of Calgary.

The project, which would divert water from the Elbow River, was proposed after extensive flooding in Calgary in 2013.

It led to five fatalities and caused more than $5 billion in damage across southern Alberta.

The project had the support of the City of Calgary but faced opposition from some landowners, including the Springbank community and the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.

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The board, an arm’s-length agency of the Alberta government, says the dam will provide much-needed flood protection to Calgary.

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